If work seems to be going swimmingly, there might not appear to be any need to take the bold step of redesigning your workplace. However, a place of work should not simply be functionable or acceptable. A place of work should be inspiring, welcoming and motivating. It should improve productivity by providing employees an effective place to work, encourage them to build relationships with each other, and look after both staff and clients’ needs.
The four reasons below spell out why your office could well be in need of an upgrade.
Superb workplace design should give employees the environment they need to perform to the best of their abilities. If your company operates mainly through individual focused work then your office should be laid out in the best possible plan for this: this includes focus rooms, individual computers with minimal distractions ahead of them, good natural lighting and ergonomic seating.
If your company works best when employees are talking to each other and sharing ideas, then an open plan, collaborative space should be available to them. Conference rooms should be large and comfortable with huge white boards or projection screens.
Building employee relationships
According to a study of 3,000 US workers, a member of staff only sees around 15% of those they work with as “real friends”, while 41% of them are simply “coworkers”. There is also a staggeringly large percentage — 22% — who are seen as “strangers”.
A well-designed workplace should build employee relationships, whether that be through comfortable break rooms, fantastic collaborative spaces or open plan offices.
Committing to staff wellbeing
To improve your workspace is to commit to staff wellbeing — if you do it right. Members of staff are not robots and should not be treated as such; a comfortable place to work, take breaks or have meetings are all essential.
There a number of reasons why an employee might skip their lunch break: they are overworked, they are behind, they are wanting to earn overtime or simply because they have nowhere that they want to spend 30 minutes away from the office. These are all issues, as skipping lunch breaks can cause burnout and lower productivity. The least your office should be doing is providing staff with somewhere to eat and drink comfortably, getting to know colleagues better or relaxing with a book.
Making your space welcoming to clients
Finally, your workplace may need redesigning if it is a space in which you welcome clients. This could be external companies arriving to hear your pitch or individual customers deciding whether to use your service. Either way, your office needs to be warm and welcoming, setting them at ease while simultaneously making you look professional.
Have a dedicated reception area where they can wait, if necessary, which could be designed with history and facts about your business. Ideally this area is not closed off, as being able to see your staff at work will make them feel connected to you and more involved in your company, building trust and a lasting relationship.